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What is the best method to convert a physical machine to VMware if they are not in the same network.

background:

Our customers have multiple systems with Linux and Windows that we would like to have in our test system. I've tried to convert using Acronis backup, but it got big problems to get Linux systems to boot after being converted into VMware. Is there any better way, or any way to make it work smoothly?

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If you're using ESX, just select convert to virtual from the management suite and it will allow you to choose windows/linux/etc via login credentials and an IP and it can convert it all for you. –  Justin Feb 19 '13 at 10:38
    
The problem is that the physical machines is not in the same network. –  magol Feb 19 '13 at 10:56
    
Don't use Acronis! There are multiple problems with .tib files, converting being one of them. –  HaydnWVN Feb 19 '13 at 11:00
    
No chance of adding a rule to your firewall to connect them? or connecting it to the VM network just to make the copy? Otherwise as has been mentioned, disk2vhd is nice in Windows, however you have linux servers as well, which I'm not to sure on converting to vmware without any network connectivity. –  Justin Feb 19 '13 at 11:19
    
Unfortunately, it is impossible to access the customer's system from outside. There are several levels of security in the way. –  magol Feb 19 '13 at 11:22
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2 Answers

We've used many times PlateSpin Migrate tool for P2V migration of prod servers to virtual environment. Basically, there are a couple of ways to perform P2V migration:

  • connect to the destination host if it is directly accessible and perform P2V migration;
  • put a separate machine in the same subnet as the one to be migrated, perform migration;

Platespin works either with Windows or Linux machines (there is a support for Solaris). They also offer a free trial period. We were quite satisfied with the results.

Here is the comparison list of features: click here.

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If you're not able to do it through VMWare you could use disk2vhd: I've used it also with VirtualBox

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